View Full Version : A happy medium between IPSC & IDPA?

April 1, 2002, 08:49 AM
Attended my first competition this past weekend - IPSC. It was fun as could be, but probably not totally what I expected. I really didn't like the equipment game involved.

Been doing some research on IDPA, and found that I don't really like the limitations imposed on equipment (namely, no open carry unless you're a LEO), and some of the rules of certain stages (required reloads, even if not needed).

Having only been to one competition, I don't speak from hardcore experience here. However, there are extreme advantages of one over the other, and vice-versa. That's seen in past pro/con arguments on this board and others about the subjects of IDPA vs IPSC. I think I'd like them both equally.

They both have their limitations, but both are fun.

Is there a grassroots competition that incorporates the advantages of both associations? With so many pro/con arguments out there on both associations, it seems somebody must have come up with their own version, which would include the pro's of both associations.

Ideally, I'm thinking along these lines:

Practical carry guns, like the IDPA rules, but without as many restrictions. Basically, if it fits in a holster that's suitable for daily carry, and there's no parts hanging off the gun that would break easily during daily carry/tactical manuveurs, you can wear it.
Holster restrictions along these lines - open carry acceptable for all persons, retention levels of 2 or 3 (no "1's" or speed holsters). CCW has no retention level requirement (remember, some people just like to throw a .32 in their jacket pocket on their way to the store...).
No required reloads. IE., if your mag has the capacity to run through a stage with no reloads, why reload? No mags that hang below the grip of semi-autos more than, say...., 3/4" or so. "Weighted" mags allowed, as long as they meet the length requirement.
To give the 1911 shooter a competitive edge, course design should be centered around 8 shots or less. The realism here is: How many times do you really run into a situation that would require more than 8 shots? In real life, if you miss 8 times in a self-defense situation, you're probably dead anyway.
Steel calibrated more toward heavier calibers, like .40 or larger, but no restrictions on caliber size. Real life situations would reflect this, in the stopping power of a bullet. Smaller calibers allowed, but they might have to hit that steel more than once to drop it. This would allow those 32ACP users in the game (Which is a popular carry caliber for a majority of CCW practioners, as we all know from past posts on this board and others). With a mixture of steel and paper targets, smaller calibers could make up for their time disadvantage (in trying to drop the steel) in shot placement.
"X" amount of seconds allowed outside of cover, regardless of situation. Less seconds allowed outside of cover depending on how many "bad guys" are presented in that particular stage. Don't think I have explain the realism of that one.
No gun "divisions" or "classes". In real life, does a BG decide not to engage you over the caliber you've chosen? Does he engage you any differently depending on the type of gun you carry?

I have a lot more ideas, but I think you get the idea by now. Basically, an association that doesn't require a master's degree in law to interpret the rules of the association (IPSC), or the rules of the courses (IDPA). Something that allows the freedoms we are granted in real life, reflecting the consequences of our choices in guns/calibers/actions in real life.

Anybody got any links, or ideas of their own? Let's keep this thread away from the same ol' IDPA vs IPSC argument. Like I said, they both have their advantages, and their reason for the rules they've adopted over the years.

April 1, 2002, 09:11 AM
One man's "pro" is another man's "con"... that's what gave rise to the IDPA in the first place.

You have your own vision of the perfect game/rules, but... so did Bill Wilson, eh?

April 1, 2002, 10:05 AM
9x19 -

Are you saying I might want to start my own little gig, in my "perfect vision"? Is that what you're saying?

Hmmmm, never crossed my mind.....:D ;)

Mesees a future post in "Legal & Political" on the liabilities of competition promoters......:p

April 1, 2002, 10:19 AM
If it involves shootin it's fun and to varying degrees is a skill honer.

I have seen IDPA with non leo open carry.

I'd come to your shoot if it was close to where I was when you did it.

I like targets that appear from behind thngs but they are expensive and a bit time consuming to run the course.

Shucks, it's all fun.


Jim Watson
April 1, 2002, 11:33 AM
There ARE grassroots competitions that seek to avoid the limitations THEIR organizers see in IPSC and IDPA. Thing is, they are just that, grassroots or "outlaw" matches that have no standardization or central clearinghouse. I recall an outfit in NY state that does their own thing. Turns out it is built around the tactics and techniques taught by a local instructor. Right or wrong, what he says to do is what is rewarded in their shoots. Another club I have been to has what they call a Practical match, but it is really LESS practical and less tactical than either IDPA or IPSC. What most places would call a fun shoot, but it is their match, set up to the tastes of a good number of their members. There was another outfit that was talking up a niche event that would split the difference between IDPA and GSSF, but I don't think it got off the ground.

Tom Givens, past IDPA board member, instructor, author, and proprietor of Rangemaster shooting range in Memphis, Tenn. is the leading independent I know of. In the past he has run an IDPA Winter Indoor Championship in February. This year, he branched out on his own with the Rangemaster Tactical Conference. He kept IDPA divisions, classifications, and safety rules, for ease of administration, but the match was all his own. He had his own design of target printed and wrote his own rules of engagement. Including a time limit on exposure to threats. He will hold another in August, the "Polite Society Match". Steel City and Excaliber in Birmingham, Ala. have picked up the concept and will hold a Givens event this fall, using two ranges, indoor and outdoor to offer a wide variety of events.

So if you want to have a match to suit your needs and likes, there is no reason not to hold The Yankytrash Cup. After all, Jeff Cooper, John Bianchi, Bill Wilson, Gaston Glock, and the Wild Bunch started their own shooting matches and look at them now. Also the guys who organized the Steel Challenge, the Masters, and the AH Shootoff.

It can be done. But I suggest you get a little more experience under your belt than one match. Shoot a few hundred IPSC and IDPS events in various places so you can see what actually goes on and call us back. In the meantime, shoot all the matches you can and make yourself useful at nearby ranges. Start out by arriving early and staying late to set up and knock down. Then submit your own CoFs. If you put your mind to it you can write stages that will follow the rules, but emphasize some of the points you consider important. After you have demonstrated your willingness to contribute, then offer to run a whole match under your own guidelines.

I have done so - a Cowboy/IDPA format. All it takes is imagination and work. If you want to go national, it takes money and a LOT of work. But nobody is going to do it for you. You can either enjoy the available formats or get busy.

April 1, 2002, 11:43 AM
I've found it and it's all in my mind...

I use to "compete" seriously. Had gear for each game including different loads for various pistols (steel, biachi, major,...), separate range bags and holsters. Several matches and a couple hundred miles of travel a month. Then time and money was need for other endeavours. I got bummed that my "master" card would probably never showup. Ended up taking a few years off.

I'm back. Now, I appreciate a beautiful morning on the line with some of the finest people you could hope to know, doing something that I emmensely enjoy. Sometimes I get the bragging rights for the day, usually not.

As for the grassroots competition, it's in my mind and goes something like this. Don't break the "180", targets are targets, shoot them fast and accurate. The rest is detail. Regardless of the game of the day: grab the Glock, the "carry" holster, ammo...and head for the range. Then I check to see if the game will involve me hanging in a parachute harness while firing 48 round stages or juggling mags and using cover. USPSA, IDPA, GSSF or what have you, I "play" the game a little but mostly shoot and always have fun.

I know I'll won't be making the super squad anytime soon, that's ok. I smile a whole lot. Funny thing is I'm a better shooter now.

April 1, 2002, 12:14 PM
"The Yankytrash Cup". Melikes the sounds of that! :D

Seriously though, I don't plan starting up my own state/national level competition. I was just thinking of a little backwoods setup with friends, and was wondering if there were a few links I could follow to some good general guidelines to go by.

Nothing I'd charge for, over the actual cost, because that'd make me a commercial range, and subject to regulations and laws I prefer to ignore as much as possible.

Just wanted to toss around some ideas....

stick - You hit the nail on the head. It should be all in the personal enjoyment.

April 1, 2002, 01:17 PM
I like the Single Stack Classic rules, which is essentially USPSA Limited 10 rules, and IDPA CDP equipment. Lots of running and gunning (and reloads . . .), but also "realistic" gear.
I've heard a rumor that there is a rumor that USPSA might make L10 a "Single Stack 1911" division. Just align the holster rules with Production, rather than Limited, and I get my wish.

April 1, 2002, 04:21 PM
I have shot matches somewhat like you describe. I went to an IDPA match where they announced, we are going to conduct two matches at once. If you want to follow IDPA rules sign this list, if you want to participate in the "tactical match" sign this list. Their gripe was the same as you, there were guys that were not allowed to use their actual carry gun because of IDPA rules. Since I thought I was going to an IDPA match, I chose that route. However when the results were posted, all shooters were lumped together meaning I was shooting against guys using compmensated guns, no concealment of their holster, etc.

To answer a couple of your questions;
"if your mag has the capacity to run through a stage with no reloads, why reload? "
Simply to practice reloading. Some of the stuff in these matches might not make sense on the surface but the idea is just to practice basic skills and encorporate those into the match.
The reason all these "games" have so many rules is because no matter how much the designers want to make the "games" practical, there will be gamers. They will take every rule to the limit and turn it into an equipment race. Even your idea has rules and I am sure if you actually try this you will end up with a lot of rules.

I think if you try this, you will have a lot of fun and if everyone participates in the spirt intended, it might be a valuable training tool.

April 1, 2002, 04:47 PM
Thanks 444, you have some good points, especially about the "gamers". Hadn't thought of that aspect. I will choose my participants accordingly (IE, poor folk like myself ;) ).

I'll ask around at the next IPSC match if any of them know of such a place around here that bends the rules a little. There's an aspect of the IPSC I thoroughly enjoyed - whether beginner, instructor, RO, or Grandmaster in the "A" class, they were all very helpful people at that match. They'd give you the shirt off their back if you asked...

RickB - Pretend I don't know what the heck you just said, and I had no idea what those rules are, but it sounded to me like you and I have the same ideas. ;) :D Details please?

Jim Watson
April 1, 2002, 04:53 PM

Considering your other thread on the subject, I think you need a wee tad more experience in the field before you start running your own shoots.

"This country boy really hates the whole safety routine."

is not the approach to take. Size, format, location, and entry fee notwithstanding, you promote a shooting match and you will be liable for its safe conduct. Let one of those good old boys get winged and you will find out just how good a friend he is. Him and his lawyer.

So go shooting. Don't worry about the other people's fancy raceguns in IPSC. You weren't planning on winning anyway, were you? Learn the rules in IDPA whether they make sense to you or not. You will learn some skills you might need someday. You will learn that shooting well is more than pulling the trigger. There is a guy in my town who was heard to complain "I can shoot the gun, I just can't handle all these RULES!" I hate to see him coming. Fortunately, he doesn't shoot in public very often. But when he does, he gets extra care in explanations of the courses of fire and a close watch on safe execution of them.

Join USPSA and take the NROI Range Officer classes. Level 1 is on how to run a stage safely, fairly, and by the rules. Level 2 includes work on course design. It is oriented to IPSC of course, but it will show you just how much is required to have a safe and well balanced match that will challenge the good shooters and not scare off the beginners.

But mostly, just play our games for a while. There is more there than you think.

April 1, 2002, 05:47 PM
Yank, Why not report back after you have attended at least a dozen IDPA and USPSA matches.

April 1, 2002, 06:23 PM
Because maybe I didn't like the situation enough to attend a dozen or more.

I will be posting views on "range etiquette" shortly, in General. Refer there.

Time to stir the pot....;)

April 1, 2002, 10:51 PM
Sorry Yanky, I didn't mean to be so criptic. I shoot IPSC (USPSA) and IDPA, and use essentially the same gear for both. In USPSA Limited 10 Division, you are allowed to shoot an iron-sighted, non-compensated 1911, with no more than 10 rounds in the mags (single stacks and wide-body guns compete togther, as nobody can load more than 10). Holsters, belts, and mag pouches are just like Limited and Open divisions; what I somewhat-derisively call "robocop" gear. Plastic or metal "holsters" upon which the pistol is often precariously balanced, and with no practical application.
IDPA Custom Defensive Pistol division allows similar guns (nothing that adds much size or weight are the real limitations), loaded to a max of 8+1 rounds. The gear must be practical holsters, belts, etc., like you'd wear on the street.
Custom pistolsmith Richard Heinie started what he calls the "1911 Society", which sponsors an annual match called the "Single Stack Classic". Since it's Heinie's match, he can do what he wants. It is essentially an IPSC/USPSA match (scoring, rules), shot with IDPA gear.
When USPSA instituted Limited 10 division, they also added Production and Revolver divisions. The latter were limited to IDPA-style (practical) gear, while L10 was allowed the space-gun rigs that predominate in Open and Limited. I would like to see USPSA align L10 with Production and Revolver (since they shoot together at Nationals), requiring the practical holster, etc., which would make L10 essentially the same as Single Stack Classic.

April 2, 2002, 01:46 AM
Rick - Maaaannnnn, that's exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks much for reporting back.

April 2, 2002, 10:28 AM
I shoot IPSC to learn.
I don't care if I win (although I'd like to!).
I ALWAYS have fun.
I shoot virtually every gun I own.
I shoot what I carry, most often the way I carry it.

Next match (S&W Academy April 14) I believe I'll be shooting the 7.5" 357 Redhawk drawn from a Sparks HSR.

I don't care about the rules (but I've learned some over time), I don't care about the 'focused few', I don't care that someone else thinks that my choice isn't 'practical', because my comfort with my gun-handling has been thoroughly enhanced by my IPSC experience.

Did I mention 'fun'?


"all my handguns are competition handguns"

April 2, 2002, 01:15 PM
Wow. I'm impressed. One match under your belt and you've got lots of ideas for making things better. I'm not criticizing (except your disdain for safety rules) but suggest you spend a little bit more time watching and listening.

I share many of your complaints - especailly as they apply to IPSC. But I've learned alot from that organization, too. I spent a half dozen years serving my country under arms and qualified as expert with every TO weapon they put in my hands. After getting out I discovered NRA Bullseye; I was, with practice, a good-enough shooter. Then I shot some PP with LE types; I was very competitive in those matches. A guy asked me if I ever shot IPSC. "What's an IPSC", I thought.

The IPSC idea of speed and accuracy was much faster and more accurate than anything I'd done up to that point. A little bit of practice got me out of D Class; I had to work for a while longer before breaking out of C Class.

But I grew to hate the gamesmanship and the club politics. I couldn't believe the pissing and moaning that went along with mission count and slot allocations.

So what? I'd shoot from a concealment rig with a totally practical pistol. I'd shoot with field revolvers loaded from my pocket. I'd shoot with J Frames and speed strips. Yeah, I'd seldom win matches and never got above B Class with that equipment, but I learned a lot about my guns and the rate at which I could deliver accurate fire and how long it took to move and reload. That's what I wanted.

And that's my point: you should be able to get what you want out of the organizations and matches you find in your area. You'll learn about your ability to perform and discover techniques that help you meet your goals. Sure, you've got to play by their rules - but within those you can run their scenarios the way you want to.

April 7, 2002, 12:00 AM
Trashman, shop around, not all IDPA clubs are the same. The group I belong to are pretty loose. If you tell them you are shooting to qualify for IDPA all rules apply but otherwise, they set up a course and you shoot through it. As long as your equipment doesn't deviate too much they don't make a fuss. Check around you might be suprised!:D "shootin is shootin" as long as it's safe! Have fun dude!

mike waidelich
April 11, 2002, 05:29 PM
For another set of rules try the website for the World Championship 3 Gun Tactical Match. www.wc3gun.com

I have to agree with some of the others, you need a little more experience before you start writing your own rules. Many of your points are good, but some are a little niave.